1. Document Library Pro
  2. Document Library Options

Searching the document library

Search box above the table

By default, Document Library Pro displays tables with a search box above the table or grid (top-right). This allows people to instantly filter the table to items with a specific keyword or search term.

In this example, the user has typed the term "policy" into the search box. This has filtered the table to the 2 items which match that term:

Document Library Pro Search Term Option

If you are not using lazy load then the search box will search all data in the library, so users can search by category, tag, date, etc. The search box is more restricted if your table uses lazy load.

Document Library Pro also has options to change the position of the search box or hide it altogether.

As well as being able to display a search box above the document library, you can use a widget or shortcode to add a 'Document search' box anywhere on your site (e.g. the homepage). This allows people to enter a search term before viewing the document library.

The styling of the document search is inherited from the default search box which comes from WordPress and your theme. You can change the styling using custom CSS.

Widget

If your theme has a sidebar area then you can add the document search widget to it:

  1. Go to Appearance → Widgets (or the Customizer if you prefer to edit widgets there).
  2. Add the 'Document Library Pro: Search Box' widget to one of your sidebars.
  3. Add any or all of the following information:
    1. Title - The title to be displayed above the widget, e.g. "Search the Document Library".
    2. Placeholder - The watermark text which will appear inside the search field, e.g. "Search resources".
    3. Button Text - If required, then you can change the text which appears on the button.

Shortcode

The following shortcode will add a document search anywhere on your site:

[doc_search]

You can customize the shortcode using the placeholder and button_text parameters, for example: [doc_search placeholder="Search resources" button_text="Search Now"]

Search results page

Document Library Pro creates a page for displaying the search results. You can find this in the list of 'Pages' in the WordPress admin.

The document search results page uses the default template from your theme. This means that if your theme's default template has a sidebar then the same sidebar will appear on the document search results, otherwise it will be full-width.

The slug of this page is 'document-search' by default. If you like, then you can change the permalink/slug of this page to anything you like, e.g. 'resource-search'.

You can make the search more advanced by using Document Library Pro with the SearchWP plugin. This allows you to choose exactly what data is searchable, keep search analytics, search within the content of PDF documents, and more.

Please see the separate article about how to do this.

Search term option

You can also choose to filter the contents of the document table or grid when it is first displayed. To do this, add the search_term option to your shortcode. E.g.

[doc_library search_term="policy"]

Notes:

  1. When using lazy load, the search_term option will only search the post title and content - the other columns will not be searched.
  2. The search is case insensitive.
  3. As with the main WordPress search, the search is done by keyword, not individual words. So if you use search_term="policy1", then it will match products with the name "policy1", "policy12", "Policy1 - HR", etc.

The search box that appears above the table does not create a URL for each search term because it uses AJAX and displays results on the same page. If you wish to link to a pre-searched table then there are 2 ways to do this:

  • Use the search_term shortcode option (described above) to create a table that is pre-filtered for a specific search term, or;
  • Install our Posts Table Pro plugin and use these instructions to add the table layout to the search results template in your theme. The table layout in Posts Table Pro is similar to the layout from Document Library Pro, but it works with all post types so you can use it for the sitewide search (which includes documents). The WordPress search results page has a unique URL for each search term which you can link to, so you can link directly to this. This is the format for linking to a specific search term (in this case, we are doing a search for 'staff policies': https://yourwebsite.com/?s=staff+policies

Can I load a pre-filtered table and then allow users to expand the selection to view all documents?

Some people like to use the search_term option to create a pre-filtered table, while giving their users the option to remove the search term and view a wider selection of documents that don't match this keyword.

This is possible if you are using the lazy load option in Document Library Pro. Use the search term option to filter the table by a specific keyword, as described above. Your users can then delete the keyword from the search box. The table will re-load with all possible documents, including those that don't match that keyword.

Please note that this will not work if lazy load is disabled.

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